My First Camera Shoot

91NoF33QyJL._SL1500_If you follow the blog you know I’ve been learning Photoshop for the past year or so.  I’m hardly skilled but I’ve learned a trick or two.  In my pursuit of developing the ability to manipulate pictures I realized I lacked of an essential part of Photoshop, the photo.

I went out and bought a Nikon 3300 which is an introductory model DSLR.  There is a minimal amount of zoom but the pictures are of higher resolution and I’m still working on the adjustments.  With my experience of Photoshop and the newly equipped tools to take a quality photo, I was set on my journey to become… I have no idea.

 

What the Hell Am I Doing?

Not quite there yet.

Not quite there yet.

At 7pm I decided to venture out into the real world with my camera for the first time.  I got in my car and traveled to Wawa to get some food and a coffee for what I wasn’t sure.  It was 7:20 when I decided to start following the sun.  I was driving west on Washington when I occurred a glaring, beautiful red ball of sun.  Picturesque.  Wow this is easy I thought.  My first time trying to take a picture and I’m following a RED sun that I can’t even think of how many times I’ve seen it like that in my life.  I couldn’t decide if I should just pull over and snap a pic or if I should keep driving closer to it so I could get a picture that wouldn’t have traffic lights in it.

I kept driving and before I knew it the sun had ducked behind some clouds and I was driving in a different direction than it was setting.  Now I was scurrying to try to find a good picture again but  I couldn’t find a good spot and there was no where to get out anyway.  Before I knew it it was 8pm, no picture in sight, and I had to go home because it was dark.  I took one picture from my car, which was highly dangerous, because I figured I needed to go home with some memory.  The first is the original and then what I shopped.

 

Before
DSC_0002

After – I could have done better in the upper right with more effort.
philly

The Turkeys Call

Oh, is this good?

You think you want to encounter this rafter of turkeys in the wild?

You think you want to encounter this rafter of turkeys in the wild?

When the draft countdown clock hit zero, the GM of Wild Turkeys put their game face on. Firing on all cylinders from the 10th spot in the draft, they put together a team that’s projected to finish first in The Dynasty League with a record of 10-3-0 (1,690 points). They loaded up on ball carriers early, using three of their first five picks to scoop up RBs Arian Foster (third round), Doug Martin (fourth round), and Alfred Morris (fifth round). They put together one of the best groups of WRs in the league, as they have Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Pierre Garcon, and Steve Smith Sr. on their team.

How much credence do I put into this report?  Like 110%.  Actually I don’t think it means much but it’s nice to lead projections week 1 drafting the way I did.

 

Draft Thoughts

This was the 2nd draft I did in as many days and I’ll recap both for the fun of it and where drafts are taking odd turns.   My first explanation will be for Steve’s draft and my 2nd for Evan’s.

  • First and foremost, the Yahoo rankings differ greatly from ESPN.  In bizarre fashion Yahoo’s rank and ADP seemed off to me.  For instance, Doug Martin carried an ADP of 96.8.  Read this article by Rotoworld and it reads that Doug Martin is neither a reach or a steal at 41.  So when I’m taking him with my 39th pick it looks ridiculous by Yahoo standards but I feel hes the RB I want on my team.
  • odb

    I’d have to be pretty high. I bet you would, Panama Red.

    I drafted 9 and 10 in the two drafts.  I was pretty pleased in my 1st and 2nd round picks as I got Gronk & ODB and ODB & Julio.  If Julio performs to expectations, I fully expect him to score more points than Gronk.  Gronk gives the positional advantage which has some power.  I still think ODB has a skill set that makes him the best receiver in the league.  He’s athletically superior to the D backs and I’ll take my chances.

  • Get healthy brother.

    Get healthy brother.

    Rounds 3 and 4 were questionable in both leagues.  In the first league I was targeting Jordan Matthews but he was scooped up and I settled with Brandin Cooks who I expect to have a nice year.  I could have drafted Forsett, which in hindsight I should have, because not drafting a RB with the first 3 picks put me in a tough spot.  I took D. Martin with the 4th pick.  In Evan’s draft I got even more wild grabbing Arian Foster in the 3rd round while his ADP was 5-6 round.  I reasoned that I wanted him on my team and he may or may not have come back to me but I couldn’t chance it.  I grabbed the Muscle Hamster again with my 4th round pick.

I’m not going to reveal the rest of my picks because I think there is a lot of value later in the drafts in handcuffs and WR’s who drop too far.

 

Closing Thoughts

  • wDNf3MiPast injuries don’t matter when I draft players.  I hear people say all the time that “they may get injured”.  Really?  You mean this is the NFL, a league where players try to knock other players unconscious, and people get injured?  Did you see Jordy Nelson get injured for the season on a play where he wasn’t even touched?  Players get injured and just because they are injury prone doesn’t mean that they will get injured.  This is why I draft guys like Gronk, Arian, and Bradford without thinking twice.
  • dougmartinHas he ever been good?    This is why I’ll reach for a guy like Doug Martin in the 4th round instead of drafting a Lamar Miller or Melvin Gordon.  Miller rushed for 1,100 yards and 9 TD’s last season (career highs) and the hope is he will vastly improve.  I’m not so sure.   Melvin Gordon has never played a game.  Doug Martin rushed for 1,454 his rookie year and has been hampered by injuries the last two years.  In fantasy, you want the most upside you can get.  I have no idea if Doug Martin will be in his rookie form or if he’s going to bust but at least at one point in his career, he was a top 5 RB.  Those are the players you need to find in later rounds who make or break your team.
  • Are you any good?

    Are you any good?

    Draft guys who get the ball.  In my one draft I got nabbed on RB’s and had to draft Doug Martin, Jonathan Stewart, and Chris Ivory as my backs.  This is not ideal as these are not the explosive players I want for the position that carries the least depth.  However, I know these players are going to get the ball.  They are the lead back and they are going to have to seriously suck to get replaced.  This isn’t the Eagles where they are going to use 3 RB’s all game, every game.

  • Mental Game on point.  Most years I don’t worry about the mental game and only concentrate on my team and putting out the best lineup.  This year I will be doing more to encourage my opponents to make lineup mistakes.  This is a small part of the game but certainly one that can be worked.  Adam is already in a puzzle week 1.  I learned yesterday my phone can auto correct words into emoticons (hence the man running).Screenshot_2015-09-01-08-32-03

Screenshot_2015-09-01-08-32-17

Close but No Cigar

glenn_close_but_no_cigarThe phrase close but no cigar comes from a time period when cigars were handed out as prizes for carnival games.  So when you lost it was “close, but no cigar”.  What.  The.  Fuck.  Anyway, this is going to be a shit entry but I wanted to get a post out there.

Close but no cigar can be used to describe my weekend because I had two instances where I was money but didn’t quite get there.  The first was the draft kings golf tournment where I put 5 guys through the cut but ultimately missed cashing by 11 spots with 9500 entries.  Goddamn Jonas Blixt.

odb-mainThe 2nd was a poker tournament that had about 115 players and I ended up getting 15th for a min cash of $34 dollars.  I played well and wasn’t called all-in except 2 times in the tourney (I had a boat once and the other was my going out hand where my 10-9 couldn’t beat 2 other pre-flop callers when I was short).  This is great and all but I lost $12 on a trifecta bet and had at least 5 beers which put me down for the day.

I also went bowling on Sunday where I put a 170 something game but wasn’t too great at picking up spares.  I also had my first draft which I was pretty pleased with.  I’ll share results after tonight’s.

Fantasy Football Drafts Begin

Fantasy-FootballI’m not sure it’s a wise move to post my thoughts in drafts because I know people who are in my leagues read this and there is nothing worse when a player is scooped out from under you.  Even still, fantasy football is 25% draft, 75% management.

It’s smart to look at the previous year and see how you did and what were smart moves and mistakes on draft day to learn for this year.

Wild_turkey_eastern_usWild Turkeys – 1st Place – With the first pick I took A-Pete who missed the entire season.  It shows that you can still win without your first round pick which is why I have no qualms taking Leveon Bell with #1 this year.  My second round pick was Arian Foster who also got hurt mid season but was a beast during the playoff run.  Gronk in the 3rd round was the steal of the century playing all games.  Aside from those picks I had no one else who was a great contributor.  Matt Ryan and Vincent Jackson were mediocre and the rest were just plug in’s.  Now obviously I made tremendous picks up with ODB, Jeremy Hill (Bud spent a third of his waiver money only to drop him which I think will be a lesson learned that if you spend your money, believe in the pick up), Kenny Stills, and Charles Johnson.  This team won their last 7 games though off of ODB, Hill, and Gronk riding high through the playoff run.

I made the finals in another league (drafting Eddie Lacy first, Montee Ball second, Gronk 3rd),  the playoffs in a league (Dez and Demarius went 1-2 for me – Gronk, who was drafted in the 3rd round by Adam won the league), and missed the playoffs in the 3rd (drafting Peterson and Foster again).  Key note here, Gronk was on the championship team in 3 out of 4 leagues I played in.

2015 Draft

Here is a list of where players are being drafted.

adp

If I get the first pick, I’m a toss up between LeVeon Bell and Adrian Peterson.  I want nothing to do with Lacy, Lynch, Anderson, or Forte.  I’d take Jamaal or J. Hill if they come to me.  I’m not taking DeMarco, LeSean, Forsett, or Miller with any of my picks.  These aren’t guys I want on my team.  I’ll take my chances with guys like Abdullah, Melvin Gordon, D Martin, and Jonathan Stewart.

oakland-raiders-wide-receiver-amari-cooperThis takes us to WR’s.  I like the top 7 guys.  I think ODB is going slightly too high and Megatron slightly too low.  I’d prefer Megatron over Dez, Julio, and Demaryius.  I’m 100% looking to draft him in the 2nd round if he drops to me.  AJ Green, TY, Jeffery, and Brandin Cooks are good players but I’m looking elsewhere.  Guys like Matthews, Hopkins, Adams, and Amari Cooper seem more reasonably priced.

TE’s are Gronk.  I’m drafting Gronk in the 2nd round.  Bottom line.  No one is more valuable.  If someone wants to draft him with the 11th pick like I would, then I’ll find another guy like Greg Olsen, Travis Kelce, Martellus Bennett, or Tyler Eifert in the later rounds.  If I can’t get Gronk, I don’t mind waivering it up for a TE week after week.

NFL: Divisional Round-San Diego Chargers at Denver BroncosQB’s are my least important draft pick because the difference between the best and the worst isn’t that great.  I read some article that pointed out a guy using waiver wire pick ups week after week actually out scored Matt Ryan over the course of a season.  Sure I like Luck and Rodgers but I don’t think they add that much value.  Give me Ryan Fitzpatrick against a shitty defense any day of the week and I’ll roll the dice instead of drafting Peyton in the 3rd round.

 

Disclaimer

Just because I write it doesn’t mean I follow it to a t.  I’m not trying to throw people off because if you come to read my blog, I want to provide good content.  I’m not a fantasy star by any means but I hawk the waiver wire closer than you and that’s why I’m competitive.  There’s  a reason why I make the most moves year after year.  The draft is the draft but the season is the real deal.

Living in the Digital World

“I can’t live in this digital world.” – JC

This is my favorite picture of my dad and goes perfectly with this post.

This is my favorite picture of my dad and goes perfectly with this post.

Yesterday my dad, JC, wanted to change his voicemail recording.  He was struggling with where to find it (personal greeting in the voicemail settings) and I stood by him going through about 3 prompts to get to the exact part where they say “record your personal greeting.”  I left the room assuming nothing could go wrong but I probably wouldn’t be sharing if it ended there.  After he left the message he didn’t know what to hit (#) and mistakenly disconnected the call.  In frustration he decided not to go through it again.

I have no idea what it’s like living without technology so I came up with opinions on how tech should work properly.  Below is a list of situations that arise are not always the easiest to manage but I can shed some light on.

 

The Last Text in a Group Chat

What happens when I want to send a funny text.

What happens when I want to send a funny text.

You don’t ever want to be the person who has the last text.  It means that your last text sucked and no one knows how to respond to it.  Stoppers basically consist of bad jokes, insults, and stupidity.  I was part of a 6 person chain that had about 20 straight messages within 5 minutes, I made a corny jab at an individual and the entire chain stopped.  It sucked.

The Planning Group

message-addA bachelor party or  trip is being planned and an email has been sent out to 25 different people to see who is interested.  Popular procedure is to respond to ONLY the person who sent the email whether you are interested.  Group responding to let people know you’d go is weak.  However, a group response about a funny story or humorous joke is encouraged AS LONG AS IT’S ACTUALLY FUNNY.   Some people are naturally funny and good at this or you can be like me where you put too much damn pressure on yourself that it feels forced and dumb.

The Voicemail

humor01 voicemail_thumbDon’t leave a voicemail.  Why leave a voicemail when you can text a person the same exact info?  It’s honestly the dumbest part of technology that still exists on personal phones.  Businesses still should use voicemail.  Friends should not.

Get Off Your Phone!

image015We played the phone game on Saturday night where you stack your phone and the first person who touches it loses.  I was pretty drunk but we lasted for a solid 30 minutes (complete guess).  In the meantime a chugging contest ensued and was far more entertainment than a phone could provide.  I don’t get annoyed at people who check their phones as long as their cognizant of their surroundings.   You don’t check your phone at a meal unless you are showing someone info derived from a conversation.  Checking your phone at of pure boredom is also a trait people need to work on.

Taylor and Katy Have Bad Blood

katy-perry-taylor-swiftI was in my car listening to Bad Blood by Taylor Swift when I started considering the song’s lyrics and how it’s a response to the feud she is having with Katy Perry.

My younger self would have said, “Taylor hates the bitch because Katy hired some of her crew during a tour in an attempt to sabotage it and Taylor wrote a song about her”, and I would have left it at that.  As I’ve gotten older I tend to ask more questions about the reasoning behind why artists do what they do and how this is probably just a ploy to get more listens.  Then I thought, why the fuck am I thinking about this and why do I care?

 

Why Do I Care About Taylor Swift and Katy Perry?

Taylor and KatyI know neither of them personally and I don’t listen to their music that often, however, I’m fascinated by the lyrics to this song and their meaning.  Does Katy really live with ghosts?  Was there ever really mad love?  What were the exact bullet holes?

The brain power behind labeling it as a response to their “bad blood” is the genius behind the promoters for Taylor Swift. They are getting me to care about this feud even though I shouldn’t. Why are celebrities put on a pedestal where we (the plebeians) care about their every move?

It must be the connection we have to their music.  The opening lyric to Teenage Dream is “You think I’m pretty, without any make up on.” (girls crave for this line)  Shake it Off (a song about not letting what other people say get you down) has 1 BILLION YouTube views.  BABY YOU’RE A FIREWORK!!!!!! (another up-lifter and no I’ve never felt like a plastic bag).  These all relate to human emotion in a very general sense which is why it is felt by so many people and why they have the power they do.

 

Back To My Car

You'll always have my heart.

You’ll always have my heart.

So now I’m back in my car thinking about all of this while Bad Blood is playing .  Why do I care about Katy Perry and find her magnificent breasts magnetic (why are these words so close?).   Why do I think Taylor Swift is a complete bitch for not letting her music go on Spotify?  Why do I wonder why there is Bad Blood when the answer to this question has precisely 0 meaning in my life.  I honestly don’t know.

This post started with no conclusion and I muddled through it with various observations but no meaning.  This is why I’m a two bit blogger.  I start a post with no end in sight other than the opportunity to post hot pictures of Katy Perry and to make some points about a feud.  Oh well.

 

Shaq is a Mogul

Shaq

I was flipping through channels last night and came across Shaq selling watches on HSN. My immediate reaction was that this guy is flat broke and is whoring himself out for any nickel he can get. However, after some brief research, I’ve concluded that this is not the case.

It’s reported that Shaq is worth $350 million.

shaqShaq was quickly becoming a huge star, exploring careers in the rap and film industry appearing in films such as Blue Chips and Kazamm. In 1996 O’Neal was part of the gold medal winning Olympic basketball team. During the Olympics Shaq announced his plans to join the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a seven year $121 million deal. In 2000, Shaquille and the Lakers won the NBA championship. They would go on to win the title two more years in a row. In 2005 Shaq singed a 5-year contract with the Miami Heat for $100 million. Shaquille is now a frequent commentator on NBA games and still appears in many commercials.

He has endorsement deals with companies like Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, Zales, and others. He is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs.

Now it all makes sense. He’s just pimping out his own line of watches called “DRONE” which seems like a stupid name. I must add though that the Home Shopping Network does a great job of making it easy to buy watches. This popped up on my TV which I think is a simplified means of picking up a phone. I wonder if the order is tied in directly with Comcast?

HSNPurchasing

Market Crashed and Sort of Recovered

So if you have any money in the market you are sweating right now. I’ve been through this wild volatility before and you want to sell as soon as shit hits the fan which is definitely happening. The market opened down 1,000 points today and is still down between 300-500 points (which is still a huge drop). Time to sell?

As you can see with this email I sent on Thursday, I sensed this was coming.

market

I actually did purchased TVIX at 6.86 and sold it Friday a little above 8. Little did I know it would shoot above 15 today. The market is hard.

whatstockstobuyI should also note that if you are a blog reader and took my advice on buying February Puts on TAXI, you would have made over 100%.

Now on to more important notes because I’m a perenial loser in investing in the market which is why I have only about 10% of my portfolio in it. I own some some stocks that lose money but I don’t expose myself to the shit that we are going through right now. Why?

When losing money starts to affect your emotional well being, you have to say to yourself, “is it really worth it?” For me it’s not. I’ve gone through ups and downs and I prefer being straight. Sure the market will probably swing back from this down run but who knows when that could happen? It could take a year. Then you start saying, well it can’t go down any more and you start purchasing at these lower prices but it still goes down. I’ll be on the sidelines.

Diner En Blanc is….. Stupid

As a blogger, it’s important to take opinionated stances on events you know nothing about.

What it looks like in Paris.

What it looks like in Paris.

“I suppose if you’re into being pretentious and want to be seen with other posers, then you’ll want to sign up for this”

 

What is Diner En Blanc?

Jeff participated in the Diner En Blanc last year, and went again this year, so I have the inside scoop on what transpires during the dumbest idea that people create as cool.  Essentially, you dress up in all white and carry a table and chairs to a location where you are then shuttled to another location where you set up your table and dine on your own food.  This event costs $40 dollars for the privilege to dine with other people who want to pay $40 dollars to inconvenience themselves.  You can pay more for their food or so I’m told.

Every part of this “Diner” is a hassle.  First you have to go out and buy all white clothes.  It’s frowned upon by the leaders if you disobey this instruction.

This actually looks pretty cool in Sydney.

This actually looks pretty cool in Sydney.

Next you need to carry a table and chairs to a part of the city where a shuttle will pick you up and take you to a secret location.  Oh let me call a taxi and sit with a table crammed against my head only to get to a place where I then have to get into a shuttle with dozens more people carrying tables and chairs.

Now I’m at the location and I get to set up my table and chairs.  What’s happening now?  OH IT’S RAINING!!!!  THIS IS SO FRESH AND EDGY!  WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!!  Now I’m done eating the food I brought and I have to lug all of it back to the shuttle.  What an amazing evening!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m being a complete negative Nancy on this but this feels to me like an event people do because they “have to do it”.  You aren’t in the “in” crowd if you don’t.  Hoity toity people get off on doing completely ridiculous events just because.  It’s probably a lot of fun and a great experience but seems pretty stupid.  An opinion from someone who went:

 

Why Go To College?

Pitt, my alma mater

Pitt, my alma mater

My parents paid for my college so if you’re reading this and still paying loans, you have every right to get mad at me for this post.

Today I was driving through a section of town where the individuals would be classified as “lower income”.  My brain started thinking that most of these people probably never went to college and then I thought about my college experience.  Is my 4 year college experience what actually separates me from these people with regards to job status and intelligence?  If I spent my 4 years developing a skill instead of college, would I be further ahead or behind?  How important was college?

I first asked, “what did I actually learn in college?”

  • Teamwork – I learned how to work in groups for class projects and reach a common goal that was bigger than what could be obtained by one person
  • Social Skills – I made dozens of friends from all over.  My Freshman roommate was Indian.
  • Independence – I lived on my own 5 hours away with little interaction with my parents.  It was me being me.
  • Education – I learned how to think.  What I actually learned was irrelevant to my life.

 

A few College Experiences

  • Two chipped teeth

    Two chipped teeth

    The first time I hit a bowl I blew the wrong way and the weed went all over the floor.

  • I got an underage the first week of school by beer bonging 5 beers in a 15 minute window.  I went down some steps, the cops came, they said everyone leave, I walked up the steps holding my beer and stumbled right into a cop.  I was the only one to get an underage.
  • I got frostbite on my foot after traversing North Oakland for hours in -10 degree weather.
  • I blacked out and made out with a swamp donkey who I couldn’t even fit my arms around.
  • I puked in the corner of a dance floor at a CMU frat house the very first time I drank at school.  I made out with some girl shortly after thinking nothing was wrong.

 

A Real Opinion on College From Someone Who Didn’t Need It

CollegeI was a finance major.  I was a B student and enjoyed the investing courses but wasn’t nearly as intelligent or hardworking as my peers.  This could have been because I had a family business that I planned to move into after college no matter what.  Most people in my situation would have spent as along as they could in school and given as little effort as possible.  I went to every class and studied as hard as I felt I should to get by.  I was just like any other student preparing for their future.  The fact that I had a job lined up didn’t change my work ethic (although as I write this post it probably could have).  So what did I take out of it?

Those 4 years were well spent.  It was an in-state school and tuition was probably 15k a year which is about as much as school should cost.  As I wrote before, I learned to think and how to work.  Sitting in a library for hours straight finishing assignments is a testament to one’s work ethic.  I carried that with me to what I’m doing now.  It was a stepping stone to entering the real world.

Once I entered the real world, I really grew as a person.  I took one week off after school and entered the workforce the Spring of ’05.  I was green as can be as college didn’t teach me how to answer a phone and sell a product to the person on the other end.  College never explained to me what credit card processor has the lowest rates.  Or how to negotiate a deal for 20 Soldering irons.  I learned that through 10 years of WORK experience which college could never teach.

I certainly don’t downplay the necessity for college but if a person has a work ethic and a desire to be what they want to be, college is really just a degree.